Teaching Kids to Say the Four Questions

Traditionally recited at the seder by the youngest child present, the Four Questions, or Mah Nishtanah in Hebrew, ask about certain Passover rituals. Each question and its answer is printed below followed by fun videos your family can use to practice the Four Questions--and their answers--with your children. You'll also find tips for children who may be a little bit nervous about being in the spotlight.

Since asking questions is a key part of what makes the seder so special, don't be shy about asking your own questions about Passover and seeking out answers with your kids as well. 

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The Four Questions

All four questions help answer one big question: Why is this night unlike all others?

?מה נשתנה הלילה הזה
Ma nishtana halaila hazeh?
Why is this night unlike all others?

.שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין חמץ ומצה
.הלילה הזה כולו מצה
Shebechol haleilot, anu ochlin chametz umatzah.
Halaila hazeh, kulo matzah.
On all other nights we eat either leavened or unleavened bread.
On this night, why do we eat only unleavened matzah?
Answer: To remind us of the haste with which our ancestors left Egypt.

.שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין שאר ירקות
.הלילה הזה מרור
Shebechol haleilot, anu ochlin she’ar yerakot.
Halaila hazeh, maror.
On all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs. On this night, why only bitter herbs?
Answer: To remind us of the bitterness of slavery.

.שבכל הלילות אין אנו מטבילין אפילו פעם אחת
.הלילה הזה שתי פעמים
Shebechol haleilot, ein anu matbilin afilu pa’am echat.
Halaila hazeh, shtei fe’amim.
On all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once. On this night, why do we dip them twice?
Answer: Some say to remind us of our coming and going from Egypt.

.שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין בין יושבין ובין מסובין
.הלילה הזה כולנו מסובין
Shebechol haleilot, anu ochlin bein yoshvin uvein mesubin.
Halaila hazeh, kulanu mesubin.
On all other nights we eat sometimes sitting and sometimes reclining. On this night, why do we all recline?
Answer: To remind us of how free people relax.


Have I Got A Story For You: Passover Playlist

Learn the Four Questions and What They Mean via BimBam

Four Questions Singalong Video via BimBam



If your children don't love being in the spotlight, or get stagefright from time to time, here are some quick tips for saying the Four Questions:

1. Let all children present read the questions together
2. Practice ahead of time using the videos above
3. Add puppets or stuff animals
4. Draw the Four Questions instead of reciting them

Find more child-friendly seder ideas on the new PJ Library Passover hub. Looking for a refresher on Passover history and traditions?
Visit the Passover 101